The summer seems like a natural time to stay active and eat healthy. After all the weather is great for getting outside and the market is full of fresh produce. Unfortunately, last summer I ended up gaining back some of the weight I had lost a few years ago and had to reboot my routine in November to avoid the holiday trap of even more weight gain. How did that happen?!? This year I decided to keep a closer eye on the scale and on my exercise to avoid the same thing from happening. Sure enough, I saw the numbers creep up! Luckily I have caught it quickly.
So what’s the scoop? Well, exactly that. A scoop (or two) of ice cream too often. Also, indulging in all the fresh fruit I buy at the Public Market. Too many cherries, grapes, peaches, watermelon, etc. isn’t necessarily a good thing. Not to mention the yummy cobblers that I make with the fresh fruit (don’t want it to go bad after all). As for exercise, I do get out and walk or jog a lot. It is hard to get into the gym when the weather is so nice, however, so my weight training can suffer.
Knowing all this has put me in a good position to avoid what happened last year. I have made an effort to get into the gym at least twice a week. Also, I try to do one full yoga workout each week and then go for a walk or jog on the other days. All this activity helps with the extra eating, but I still have to keep an eye on what I am putting in my body since weight management is more about food than exercise.
None of this sounds or is fun! As I have said many times, I have a love/hate relationship with exercise and I love food! I know I have to buckle down, though, because the alternative is much harder to live with and recover from. So, I will still enjoy my treats (ice cream and summer are synonymous in my mind), but I will remember to cut back on the portion and frequency of them! I will also be trying to fill up more on all the fabulous vegetables that are available now. Have you seen the pole beans, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, corn, peas, etc. that are overflowing at the market now?
What about you? Do you fall into this trap as well? How do you avoid it? I’d love to hear!
I feel I have to post a recipe that takes advantage of some of these fresh veggies. Apparently, ramen noodle salad is something that has been around for a long time and I am just finding out about it now! I came across a recipe that takes this calorie bomb of a salad and tweaked it to make it healthier. Less oil and more veggies don't take any of the flavor away. In the original recipe she used frozen edamame and canned mandarin oranges. I switched them out for fresh green beans and oranges. You could use peas, broccoli, corn or any other favorite vegetable, though. I was out of rice vinegar so I decided to try a new product I picked up, coconut vinegar. To go with this I used coconut nectar instead of honey or agave. I also added some orange champagne vinegar. Use your favorites! I added some toasted sesame oil to the dressing to add a bit more asian flavor. One note about the ramen noodles. Last year I posted a recipe for Easy Ramen Noodle Soup and wrote about finding a healthier noodle than the ones in the cheap packets. These packages are bigger so I upped the amount of the ingredients in this recipe to accommodate. You can easily cut everything in half because the noodles come in two bundles. We love the leftovers, though! You will want to make this recipe a few hours ahead to allow the noodles to soften up before eating.
Orange Ramen Noodle Salad
Adapted from Wellplated
1 5-oz package Asian Gourmet Curly Noodles, broken up
1 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 medium head cabbage, sliced into shreds
2 cups green beans, cleaned, snipped and cut into bite size pieces
1 1/2 cups carrots, shredded
4 scallions, sliced
2 fresh mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned
1/3 cup coconut vinegar (or rice vinegar)
2 or 3 splashes Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar (optional)
4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons coconut nectar (or honey, agave or maple syrup)
2 tablespoons Liquid Aminos (or low sodium soy sauce or tamari)
Fresh ground pepper to taste